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Things we learnt in plenary: new Commission, Sakharov Prize and the EU budget

Plenary Session Institutions24-10-2014 - 08:00
 

The October plenary saw the new European Commission led byJean-Claude Juncker receive the Parliament's approval to start its five-year term, while outgoing president José Manuel Barroso gave his farewell speech to MEPs. The Parliament also voted against cuts proposed by EU governments to the EU's budget for next year, as MEPs want to preserve spending for growth and jobs. Meanwhile Denis Mukwege, who helps the victims of sexual violence, was announced as the 2014 Sakharov prize laureate. (Read more: Things we learnt in plenary: new Commission, Sakharov Prize and the EU budget )

 
 

Schulz: “We need targeted investment to stimulate the economy"

Others Institutions23-10-2014 - 18:11
Schulz at summit_  

Europe needs an investment package to overcome low growth and high unemployment, EP President Martin Schulz warned government leaders at the European Council summit on 23 October. Schulz also pointed out that investment levels were still below what they were before the crisis. “Our economy is slowing down, a clear warning to which we must respond.” (Read more: Schulz: “We need targeted investment to stimulate the economy" )

 
 

MEPs prolong Ukraine's duty-free access to the EU market

Plenary Session External/international trade23-10-2014 - 12:26

Plans to prolong a largely duty-free access to the EU market for Ukraine’s exports until the end of 2015 were backed by the European Parliament on Thursday. (Read more: MEPs prolong Ukraine's duty-free access to the EU market )

 
 

Human rights: closing down of Russian Memorial NGO; Uzbekistan; Mexico

Plenary Session Humanitarian aid / External relations23-10-2014 - 12:22

Parliament passed three resolutions on Thursday, calling on the Russian authorities not to close down the Memorial civil rights NGO; urging the Uzbek authorities to take immediate action to protect human rights; and calling for the immediate arrest of all those responsible for the disappearance of 43 students in Mexico. (Read more: Human rights: closing down of Russian Memorial NGO; Uzbekistan; Mexico )

 
 

MEPs ask for further details of EU-wide police crackdown on clandestine migrants

Plenary Session Police cooperation23-10-2014 - 10:56

Concerns about how to reconcile the fundamental rights and non-discrimination of migrants with the need to gather information to dismantle criminal networks profiting from trafficking were the key points raised by MEPs in Wednesday evening’s debate with the Italian Presidency of the Council, represented by Benedetto Della Vedova on the EU-wide police crackdown on clandestine migrants "Mos Maiorum". (Read more: MEPs ask for further details of EU-wide police crackdown on clandestine migrants )

 
 

IS fighters returning to EU: MEPs debate how to prevent internal security threat

Plenary Session External relations / Security and defence23-10-2014 - 10:27

Concerns over the possible threats to the EU's internal security posed by Europeans returning home after fighting for the so-called “Islamic State” (IS) were raised by MEPs in a debate on Wednesday. Some called for a swift approval of the EU Passenger Name Record (PNR) proposal to better detect potential terrorists entering or leaving the EU. Most stressed, however, that all measures taken by the EU to tackle this problem must respect fundamental rights. (Read more: IS fighters returning to EU: MEPs debate how to prevent internal security threat )

 
 

Human rights debates: why Parliament calls attention to the situation in Mexico

Plenary Session Human rights23-10-2014 - 09:42
Relatives and peers of the 43 missing students of Normal School of Ayotzinapa Raul Isidro Burgos march demanding their appearance in Tixtla, Guerrero state, Mexico on October 21, 2014. Mexico's government announced a $110,000 reward for information on the disappearance of 43 students in a case of alleged collusion between a drug gang and police. ©BELGA/AFP/ EDUARDO GUERRERO  

They might have gone missing in another part of the world, but that does not mean MEPs don't care about their fate. Today the Parliament will discuss the 43 missing students in Mexico and the suspected links between drug cartels and local authorities in the country. Issues such as this are brought up at every plenary session, when MEPs call attention to flagrant violations and breaches of the rule of law around the world. Find out more about the debates and follow them live on our website. (Read more: Human rights debates: why Parliament calls attention to the situation in Mexico )

 
 

Kobane: MEPs call on Turkey to do more to help Syrian city under threat by IS

Plenary Session Institutions22-10-2014 - 17:06
Isis assault on Kobani, Iraq on the Turkish border  

Turkey should do more to help Kurds fight off the IS threat in Kobane, many MEPs said in a debate on the besieged Syrian city on 22 October. They also condemned the violence by IS and said more should be done to tackle the terrorist group and help its victims. Some also raised the potential threat of chemical weapons and said a wider strategy was needed for the Middle East. (Read more: Kobane: MEPs call on Turkey to do more to help Syrian city under threat by IS )

 
 

Parliament elects new European Commission

Plenary Session Institutions22-10-2014 - 17:06
EP President Martin Schulz hands over to EC President Jean-Claude Juncker the decision of the EP to elect the new commission.  

MEPs approved the new college of 27 Commissioners, as presented by its President-elect Jean-Claude Juncker on Wednesday morning, with 423 votes in favour, 209 against and 67 abstentions. The new Commission now needs to be formally appointed by EU heads of state or government to enable it to take up duty on 1 November for a five-year term. (Read more: Parliament elects new European Commission )

 
 

New European Commission: the commissioners and their portfolios

Others Institutions22-10-2014 - 16:38
infographic illustration  

The new European Commission, led by Jean-Claude Juncker, has now been formally elected by the European Parliament in Strasbourg with 423 votes in favour, 209 against and 67 abstentions. It will starts its five-year term on 1 November. Find out more about its composition, the new commissioners and their portfolios in our infographic. (Read more: New European Commission: the commissioners and their portfolios )